Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tiny Talk at School

One morning we were listening to a piece by Bach. The instrument was an organ and I wanted the kids to identify the organ by listening for it.

So I asked, "What is playing the music on the CD?"


And then Anna pipes up, "A CD player!"

I was reading an ABC book with Nate:) After reading it I was singing the ABCs as we turned the pages to each letter. I got to O and Nate stopped me.

"Mommy, that not an "O". That is a circle!"

Me singing, "The O says "ah", the O says "ah".....

Nate interrupted, "But Mommy it a circle! It not say "ah"! "

He's a stubborn 3 yr old!! This teaching thing takes a lot more creativity with him than it did for his siblings who thought I was always right:/


Anna had been working on her vocabulary words and came in to check her work, "Mom, does mimic mean that someone copies what someone else says?"

Me : Yep!

And then I hear behind me "someone copies what someone else says"! LOL!! A younger brother with a dry sense of humor... like his Daddy!

And a recent favorite of mine (that I shared on SIMPLE last week) was part of one of Nate's infamous arguments. We were all in the school room doing school:)

Nate came to the school table with a notebook and pencil and demanded," Me turn for a spelling test!"

How do you give a spelling test to a kid still learning letter recognition?? So I tried to distract him with some other options! But he was not pleased and continued to ask for the spelling test.

Anna finally appeased him with a "spelling test" and now it's a regular thing here;) Check out his test from this week :) LOL!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Are you ready for some....


Yes, another soccer season has begun! And we are all excited about what the season holds!!

We had our first practice this week and it was great to see our little team forming:) We have a lot of returning teammates which was very fun! But we still have a very young team... so we'll see how the season goes!! We have a great coach and assistant coach,too!!

Here's to a new soccer season;)With three kids on ONE team... whoop, whoop!



And little man's crazy antics on the sideline!!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Swamp-noeing... a Perk of Living by a Swamp

So I've shared before, we live next to a swamp:)  Brian calls it wetlands... sounds a little better!! It's actually a part of our property so we affectionately call it "our swamp"... although we are totally aware that it doesn't actually belong to us;) We can "pretend", right?

We've had tons of fun wildlife here; turtles laying eggs, egrets, hawks, green tree frogs, lizards, love the hummingbirds and the dragonflies that are our constant companions!! They follow us everywhere and keep an eye on us:)

At the end of August, Grammie brought us a canoe. This canoe actually has a LOT of history in our family.... from giving away my brother's secret window escapes to being followed by our pet duck when my mom would canoe a creek where we grew up.

We were excited to finally explore our swamp in the canoe and see what was really back there;)

Brian and Grammie took the "maiden voyage" in the canoe... just in case began to leak:) Not sure what they would have done if it had, maybe paddled harder to the shore;) ha hahaa

They had a watchful audience from the woods. Watching every move. Calling out when they couldn't see them through the wetlands foliage! Waiting their turn!

They came back safe and dry... so brave Grammie took out a few of the kiddos to teach to paddle and explore.

And then Brian took two more kids into the back of the swamp.

Even Nate and I got out there for a bit!! When he got in the canoe, Nate was very leery. But once he was away from the shore, he loved it!


Once we got through some of the limbs, little islands and trees... it was gorgeous out there!! One part opens up and it is lined with Cyprus trees:) It had a Cyprus Gardens feel minus the alligators:) Anyway, I'm trying to figure out how to waterproof my camera so I could take some pictures... they would be fun to have in the house!!

Brian went out again with Lydia and Grammie.... and they found some water snakes... a BIG one:) Ewww! And Brian brought all of is out to see the beaver dam... we had seen him a few times. And now we know why we have a swamp:)

Just another perk to living next to the swamp... I mean wetlands!!

Oh and if your wondering we do have mosquitoes but not as bad as some areas of our county that aren't as close to water as we are. I really think the dragonflies, all the different birds and family of bats that  zoom over our head at night helps with the mosquito issue:)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tiny Talk with the Boys

While visiting with Grandma and Grandaddy, I was trying to get Nate to sleep:/ Really just trying to get him still... once he's still, he's asleep:)

I got the laptop out to let him watch Goodnight Moon on youtube... nice and peaceful and quiet:) I left the room to get a cup of water for him and I get back, I see this...
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and hear him say, "Hey, MOmma. Want to watch some NetFlix? Me know how to do it!" Click, click, click as he pushes who knows how many keys:/

I had to laugh though... at 3 he's talking about watching movies using an online service. Um, at 3, computers we're even a part of a home:/ Amazing what changes happen in 30+ years!!

During the same night.... LOL!! Nate noticed a picture on the nightstand:) And we started talking about it.


The picture was taken in Austria in 2003. Brian and I toured parts of Vienna, Austria with his parents before a conference in Hungary:) A trip that was definitely pre-kiddos:)

But Nate insisted he was in the picture!! Insisted!! Finally I said, "Where?" thinking I was calling his bluff.

Nate announced," Me was under the table!
" LOL!! Too funny what this kid comes up with!
Ok, those who know me, know that I'm not super fashionable. But I've been slowly adding some classic pieces of jewelry that I can add to my wardrobe;) Last week I found a new pair of hoops.

IMG_9822Feeling a little self-conscience I asked Brian what he thought. His response was, "You look like a pirate... argh!!"


So I asked the pirate expert of the house... Chris! Since he was out of the room when Brian made his comment and hadn't seen my earrings, so I thought Chris would be a reliable opinion. I asked, "Chris, do I look like a pirate?"

Chris quickly answered,"Nah, MOm. You don't look like a pirate. You don't have an eye patch!" And then he started walking away. He turned back to me in a second and added, "But those new earrings do look like a pirates!" LOL

I can't try anything "new" with this crew!! LOL!!

Time to link-up in the comments;)

Friday, September 6, 2013

End of the Summer Grandparent Visits

I haven't been very diligent blogging our fun visits from and to grandparents:(

We were actually able to use the recent Labor Day weekend to get out-of-town for an "end of summer" visit to Grandma and Grandaddy's;) We all look forward to a change of routine and visiting and getting loved on by them!! It's always great... even when we don't do much but read, sleep in, and definitely visit with family:)

And I barely took out my camera:/ But did get this;)


Grandma and Grandaddy actually came up our way during our first week of school in early August! It was nice having some help for a school morning;) And since Brian still had off on Fridays then, our 1st Friday "at school" included a field trip to a nearby town to a small "aquarium", the riverwalk and a local park!! Field trips on Fridays are always awesome... add in Dad and grandparents... yippee!!





We are very thankful for our parents and the grandparents they are to our children!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Our "Normal" Daily Schedule

So what is normal anyway?? LOL!!
I function better with a "plan"!  I look back in other years and think how much more organized I seemed to be...

but truthfully, the more we get into home schooling, the more I realize that our days flow better when Momma has a well-planned day but is flexible. And might even ditch the plan when something better comes along:) 

Like last Friday, my kids had prepared a simple afternoon "tea party" for some friends coming to visit while their parents attended a funeral. By noon, when school was nearing an end for the day... plans had changed, no friends, but a Grammie:)

IMG_9744While I was in the kitchen fixing lunch, the kids asked to bake for the "party".

By the time Grammie arrived, they had sugar cookies, energy balls, and pizza rolls. Not quite the Science lesson I had planned for the afternoon:) But they all helped to bake from scratch, read recipes, follow directions, measure and problem solve when the right measuring cup was already in use:) And then setting up the table and arranging all the seating... for the 4, Grammie and a couple of dolls. (Momma stood!) Oh, and cleaning up:)

So as you read through this schedule, this what I have planned for our "normal" days but no day really goes as planned... and really as long as we're learning and growing together, I'm good with that:)

Morning Chores

Daily Notebook/ Start Individual Work 8:30ish
  • Sometimes reading with Chris
  • Time with Nate
Morning Time – 9am
  • Bible/Prayer
  • Memory Work/Spanish Songs
Math & Individual Work (9:30 – 10:15)
  • Mom math lessons with Chris and Lydia, Checks Anna
  • Mom sneaks in time with Nate
  • Occasionally works on spelling, too
Together Time (10:15 -12)
  • Writing
  • Art or Music
  • History or Science

Lunch Prep for Mommy (12ish)
  • Individual Work
  • Spelling Tests
  • Finish independent history/science work
  • Spanish DVD

  • Kitchen Clean-Up
  • Room of the Day Clean-Up
  • Brush Teeth

Read Aloud (boys room) -if its a day Nate needs/can take a nap (sadly these days are infrequent)

Back "on the bus" (until they're done!!)
  • Finish Individual Work
  • Grammar with Lydia/Chris, then Anna
  • Spelling (if not already done)
  • Read alone or with Mom (20-30 minutes)
Free Time
  • Outside
  • Errands
  • Park/Walk/Swim
Library visits weekly :)
Wednesday -Piano
Tues/Thursday (in the fall) - Soccer
Thursday mid-morning is local home school activities and 4H monthly
Wednesday - RA and GAs

There is our  "plan" !!!

It's very flexible; like who I am working with first... there are some days one is begging for my attention and the others are working quietly... so I start with them:)

It's funny how a plan changes to fit our needs and personalities, too! When we started school the 1st week of August our day looked a little different. The kids explained that they wanted to work on math first in the morning rather than waiting right before lunch:) We tweaked and moved stuff until we found something that fits us now;) I get Bible first and History before lunch and they have Math almost first... win!win!

And right now I haven't been doing anything formal with Nate:/
He's been working on ABCs with all sorts of activities that have kept him busy while we school:) Throw in some pattern blocks, a kitchen set, a train track and some Play-Doh and he's been a happy camper:)

We're working on getting  him involved with Bible time and he listens to us practice our memory work, the US presidents, States and Capitals, Psalm 23 and Spanish vocabulary. So he's still picking up on some of the "big kid" stuff!!

 I do want to start up Before Five in a Row with him again.... so that's in the works as soon as I get settled into my online classes for the semester (one thing at a time for this little stretched brain)!!

Linking up to the "not" back to school Blog Hop and WFMW.